Take a Flight

 

Balloon Rides

Everything you might want to know about arranging for rides in a hot air balloon. A great way to have some fun, gift certificates for special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries. A hot air balloon makes a romantic setting for a marriage proposal.
 

Note: This listing is provided as a courtesy to GEBA members. Listings in this website do not constitute any form of endorsement or certification on the part of GEBA; or its Board of Directors; or this site; or any individuals connected with this web site.
 

Contact the listed pilots directly for flight schedules, launch locations and related details.
 
The linked PDF is broken into location by state and town. Many pilots fly in multiple areas and not just in the vicinity of the municipality listed. With respect to passenger capacity, many pilots can arrange flights for larger groups. It is suggested that you speak directly to a pilot concerning your interests. Click on the link below for a list of pilots offering balloon rides.
 

CLICK TO SEE THE GEBA RIDE OPERATOR LISTING
 

 

About Hot Air Balloon Rides

A hot air balloon ride is a very special experience and can be the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion. The following provides some general things to know for those planning to either take a ride or give one as a gift.
 
Allow about three hours for the complete activity. This will include meeting the balloon crew at a designated location; 30 minutes or so (prior to flight time) for a procedural/safety briefing and setting up the balloon; one hour for the actual flight; 30 minutes for landing and packing up the equipment; then return to the launch site and traditional champagne toast.
 
Like all activities, it is appropriate to “dress for the occasion.” Naturally, the temperature will control types of clothing and quantity. This is an outdoor sport, appropriate clothing is desired. Some recommendations include: closed-toed shoes (sneakers, hiking boots, etc.); jeans; (no dress pants or skirts, or shorts); comfortable shirt/jacket; hat. For morning flights be aware of damp (dew) ground and consider water repellent footwear. Sunglasses should be included as with any outdoor event.
 
Bring along a camera and lots of film. Video cameras are frequently taken on balloon rides. You are welcome to photograph the entire process, and the crew will be happy to offer some suggestions for special photo opportunities.
 
Many people ask what a ride “feels like.” Because balloons travel “with the wind,” rather than against it, there is virtually no sensation of motion and the only sound is that of the burner putting heat into the balloon. Generally, on launch the ground simply melts away slowly as you rise into the air, and on landings the ground gets closer. On occasion, things get a bit more exciting, should a breeze kick up during a launch or landing.
 
The issue of safety is frequently asked and is explained in detail prior to actually taking a flight. As previously noted, pilots are certified by the FAA and balloons are inspected annually by FAA designated repair stations. Safety is a keyword in ballooning and flights do not happen if there are adverse conditions present. Despite all the precautions, it is important to recognize that ballooning, like anything (and everything) else has an element of risk. It is equally important to know that thousands upon thousands of balloon flights occur each year with the only excitement being that of enjoyment.
 
The number of people that can be carried varies with the size of the balloon and basket. For large groups, pilots work together to provide enough balloons so that everyone is accommodated.
 
There are many reasons to take a balloon ride; celebration of a birthday, an anniversary, an engagement (yes, many couples have gotten engaged and even married in hot air balloons), graduation or just to enjoy the sights from a slightly different point of view.
 
NOTE TO PILOTS: If your listing is missing or needs to be updated, please contact the GEBA Board Secretary.